MARTY RUSSELL: Please, please, let it really be witchcraft

By Marty Russell

Witchcraft. That explains a lot, and not just how Christine O’Donnell got the Republican nomination in the Delaware Senate race.
I’ve been trying to figure out for years how so many otherwise normal Americans could buy into a political party that puts big business, corporate fat cats and staying in office ahead of those ordinary Americans who keep them there. It must be witchcraft. They’ve cast a spell on many Americans, turning them into toads. Not the slimy amphibious kind, the “contemptible person or thing” kind as defined by Webster’s.
Unless you’re one of those Chilean miners who’ve been trapped underground for a month, you’ve probably heard by now that O’Donnell recently confessed to having “dabbled” in witchcraft when she was younger. I’m assuming that means that she mixed the magic potion but didn’t drink it, a la Bill Clinton. The revelation came on the heels of a GOP-sponsored ad depicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the Wicked Witch. Does this mean Republicans should now like Pelosi?
I really wouldn’t have a problem with O’Donnell being a witch, in fact it would be a refreshing change of pace given all the lip service politicians pay to religion while ignoring most of the basic tenets. I might even vote for her if I lived in Delaware. Think of all the tax money we could save on airfare for congressional junkets. She could just use her broom.
But, of course, O’Donnell is now backtracking and chalking it all up to just a youthful indiscretion. Too bad. She might should have stuck with it long enough to learn a spell to erase people’s memories about her spending.
Being a witch is the least of O’Donnell’s problems right now. An investigation is under way into her campaign spending, charging that she paid her rent and paid her mother as a campaign “aide” out of her campaign funds. Hiring her mother wouldn’t necessarily be illegal if her mother had any political expertise, which hasn’t been proven. But paying your own rent with campaign contributions would definitely be illegal.
Yet even the national Republican party is now backing her candidacy as I’m sure many voters in Delaware are as well. It makes perfect sense, assuming you’re under some kind of spell, that you should elect someone who can’t handle their own money and paid more than $11,000 in back taxes to go to Washington and fix the economy.
I can only pray that there really is witchcraft involved here and that large numbers of the American people really aren’t that gullible, to put it nicely. It’s making comedian Jon Stewart’s plans for an October “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington seem not so much like a joke.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by e-mail at marusse1@olemiss.edu